Danza’s Garden – Danza (reviewed by Dave Franklin)

Named for the idea that it showcases the growth and evolution of the artist in question, Danza’s Garden is essentially a hip-hop album but one which incorporates a fairly wide sonic palette. Hip-hop has come a long way since its early 80’s birth and the reason why it has survived this long is because of its ability to move with the times. Danza’s Garden is nothing less than the sound of the genre moving with the times.

Here, there are plenty of songs of a style that would sound very familiar to those early hip-hop pioneers. Opening salvo We On It is certainly charged with the same funk-soul fusions which fuelled their fire but there are also songs like Mulberry Drapes and Gardening which are very much the product of the here and now. And if different eras make up Danza’s sonic garden, various genres seem to grow side by side too. Peace of Mind is a sassy slice of modern R&B and Pipe Dreams seems to head off into a rock meets rap meets alternative-dance groove.

Looking back is all very well but the real trick is to learn from the past, be inspired by it and then use those experiences to head off into new and refreshing sonic territory. It’s a trick which Danza is rather good at.

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